In last Thusday's News and Views from the Nefarium, I pointed out that the recent NSA spying scandal or the Edward Snowden Affair had spread to spying on the Germany's Chancellorin Angela Merkel, who had apparently called President Obama and used some of the most direct and harsh words between leaders of the two countries since World War Two. Indeed, the whole episode indicates what a farce the post-Cold War world of geopolitics has become.
In traditional reckoning of the nuclear states, we have, for example, the thermonuclear states(the big boys with the H-bombs), the nuclear states (the boys with a-bombs), and the non-weaponized nuclear states(countries with all the infrastructure to make h-bombs and a-bombs), and then, everyone else. But I suggest new categories that should clarify the circus a bit, and put the whole NSA spying thing into its proper financial and thermonuclear context. We should have the following categories: (1) "We can build thermonukes but were pretending we don't want to, so we'll build them for other people" states (Germany); (2) "We can build them but we don't want to so we'll let others (Germany) do it for us (France)"; (3) "We can build them but we're pretending we're not"(Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Israel); (4) "We can build them and it's no one's bloody business how many we have"(the United Kingdom); (5) "We really want to build them but we're pretending we don't want to," (Iran), (6) "We've built a few but they don't really work so great" (North Korea), (7) "We can build them, but categorically deny we want to or that we've sold the technologies to do so to anyone else" (Spain, Italy, Sweden et al) and finally, (8) "We've built so many we don't know where all of them are, but we're watching garage sales very closely" (the USA and Russia). Now in this context, I contend that it's a very bad idea for the USA to go spying on its allies in Europe, for the very simple and obvious reason that pissing off countries in categories (1), (2), (4) and (7) is geopolitical insanity.
On the serious side, however, this is not far from the mark. In last Thursday's News and Views I suggested that one should watch for further signs of growing geopolitical realignment in the wake of the USA's government shutdown fiasco and the NSA spying scandal. My point, which may have been obscured by the time constraints imposed, was that, while it is realistic to expect a certain amount of spying on each other even among allies (I mean, c'mon folks, do we really believe the French, the British, the Germans, the Italians, the Spanish, don't spy on the USA, or each other?), something about the NSA spying scandal "crossed the line" for the Germans, and I contended that it was the financial implications, as evident in the European Parliament's resolution to restrict American access to the SWIFT clearing house data bank in Brussels. In that respect, I suggested one look for growing, though slow and long term, signs that Europe would gradually decouple itself from the USA.
No sooner said, than done, for now the reports are coming out of Europe that Germany's Merkel and France's Hollande both want to renegotiate the limits of American access to European databank networks. As I pointed out in last Thursday's News and Views, this comes quickly on the heels of the BRICSA nations announcing they have completed the backbone of their independent internet:
The map in the above referenced article is suggestive, for it is indicative of what is really happening: North America is being "walled off" by a growing bloc of countries profoundly disatisfied with Washington's "irresponsibility." And please note, I am paraphrasing the words of the recent op-ed piece from China's Xinghua News Agency, which carefully targeted the irresponsibility of Washington, but left out any reference to the American people. The map thus suggests how crucial Europe now is to a shrinking coefficient of influence America has, and thus, Europe is going to start playing - if not hard ball - then at least, harder ball. The recent announcements of French and German efforts to renegotiate the limits of US spying cannot be ignored. They are, after all, the two most powerful nations in Europe.
But I suspect that this portends other long term developments, which we can expect to come in form of "renegotiations" of a lower American military presence in Europe (particularly in Germany). And that will be when the rubber hits the road, for American bases in that country and elsewhere in Europe form a crucial component of the American empire. And maintaining them, and that empire, requires sustaining the dollar's status as world reserve currency. And that in turn, in the modern age, requires the massive electronic spying - the "ultimate insider trading mechanism" - be sustained. The cost of maintaining those bases may be high. Germany already has a Luftwaffe base in the USA, and Europe may even go so far as to demand a higher presence of such bases in North America as a result. Radical? yes. Likely? no... but nonetheless, the financial strength of the USA is under assault, and Europe knows it. But watch for increased demands from China and Russia for greater roles in the IMF (International Monetary Fraud), the World Bank, and other Mafia-like institutions of international finance. And, we can now expect that they will invite greater European participation in their own development bank.
So, like it or not, Europe and the USA are now locked in a very long, and intricate, geopolitical dance as their long term interests are clearly diverging. Zbgnw Brzznsk's recent efforts to increase trade between the USA and Europe are testament to the fact that the North American oligarchs are worried, very worried. For its part, the USA has to sustain that dance until, at least, a retrenchment and shoring up of the North American power base is complete, something I've been maintaining since 2008. That retrenching can only be done by preventing capital flight (the recent JP Morgan clampdown on wire transfers over $50,000 yet another testament to what's going on), and bringing manufacturing back to the North American continent. Otherwise, the USA has nothing to export except "services" and war.
And that hasn't worked out so well.
See you on the flip side.